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TheStreet Open House

The Drunkest States in America

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that binge drinking is becoming a big problem in the U.S.

According to the agency's latest Vitals Signs report, more than 38 million adults in the U.S. binge drink an average of four times a month, consuming at most an average of eight drinks during each sitting. But binge drinking -- defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in an occasion (called an "episode" in the CDC report) -- is more prevalent in certain states than others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have data showing binge drinking is becoming a big problem in the U.S.

Adult binge drinking is most common in the Midwest and New England, but binge drinkers consume more drinks in the Southwest, the Midwest and in some states where overall binge drinking is less common, including Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Want to hear more about the CDC research? Check out our interview with Dr. Robert Brewer, lead of the CDC alcohol program.

>>Binge Drinking on the Rise

The CDC attributes the variations by state to differences in the laws that govern alcohol use.

Take Utah. Binge drinking is the least prevalent in Utah, which has notoriously strict liquor laws that severely limit the times restaurants can serve alcohol to patrons.

We combed through the data to rank the states that drink the most based on the percent of adult residents who reported binge drinking. Stats on how often these drinkers binge and how many drinks they consume when they binge drink are included. (Data from South Carolina and Tennessee were not available, so they were not included in this analysis.) Read on to find out whether your state rates among the drunkest.

10th-drunkest state: Vermont
Prevalence of binge drinking: 20.2%
Number of monthly episodes: 4.7
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 7.1

Ninth-drunkest state: Alaska
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.2%
Number of episodes per month: 4
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 6.8

Eighth-drunkest state: Illinois
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.4%
Number of episodes per month: 4.5
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 6.9

Seventh-drunkest state: Montana
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.5%
Number of episodes per month: 3.9
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 7.7

Sixth-drunkest state: Iowa
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.5%
Number of episodes per month: 5.3
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 8
While tied with Montana in terms of its prevalence of binge drinking, Iowa ranked higher because binge drinkers consume more drinks and do so more often.

FIfth-drunkest state: Massachusetts
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.7%
Number of episodes per month: 5
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 6.8

Fourth-drunkest state: District of Columbia
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.9%
Number of episodes per month: 4.1
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 6

Third-drunkest state: North Dakota
Prevalence of binge drinking: 21.9%
Number of episodes per month: 4.2
Average number of drinks consumed during episodes: 8.3
Similarly to Iowa and Montana, while tied with the District of Columbia in terms of prevalence, North Dakota ranked higher because binge drinkers drink more often and consume more when they do.

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